Monday, October 31, 2011

Amber & David: Engaged!

So much about my job requires flexibility and planning. There are so many variables when planning a session: weather, babies, wardrobes, etc. So I always have a back up plan, and am always thinking 2 steps ahead. Which came in handy yesterday, when a session location didn't quite worked out as planned.

The original plan was for me to meet Amber & David in the heart of a nearby village, but upon arrival, we realized there was a festival going on, and we'd need a Plan B. But that was no problem, because Amber & David knew of a quiet little get-away at Hamilton College, so off we went!

Thank goodness that sometimes our plans don't work out, because this "back-up" location was gorgeous! I'm definitely marking this as one of my favorite locations, and will have to go back for future sessions. So thanks for introducing me to your favorite spot, guys! :)

Enjoy your sneak peek! :)


I've known Priscilla for about 5 years now, and every time I see her, I feel more blessed to be her friend. She has a compassionate, giving spirit, and is always smiling. I love spending time with her, and am blessed that after all these years, and with hundreds of miles between us, we can still get together and pick up where we left off.

I met Priscilla at Houghton College, when I first joined Gospel Choir my Senior year. She was our director, and that year I served as Vice President, and spent many late nights singing my heart out with this girl. She tried to make me African, and I tried to keep her on "American time", because she always seemed to be running late. We always had a lot of fun, and my time with gospel choir is one of my favorite memories from college.

Priscilla told me last July about a music project she was working on, and how she was planning to release a CD in her home country of Nigeria. She asked if I'd do the photography for her CD and advertising, and I of course, was thrilled with the idea! Not only am I thrilled to see how God is working in her life, and allowing her this opportunity, but using my images on the CD? um, OK! :) (THRILLED!)

Here are a few images from our afternoon session, the lighting was heaven, the trees were alive with color, and Priscilla, well, she was a dream to photograph.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Class of 2012!

I love Senior season, and how each student brings a different feel and perspective to their session. I also love how Senior Portraiture has changed over the years, running from the muslin backdrops, black velvet drapes & pearls, and embracing individuality, creativity, and freedom.

Because if a Senior Portrait can't accurately express an individuals personality, what can? Isn't that the point? Isn't it now time for the child to grow up, know who he or she is, and step forward into a new role, and embrace what they love?

Yes, a portrait is intended to freeze time, to remind you of what you were at a certain time, where you've been, but senior portraiture is just as much about celebrating the future, and where you're going.

So to the class of 2012: Thank you for telling me what you love, thank you for teaching me, and for letting me into your world. Most of all, thank you for being you, and for not letting anyone else tell you who to be. Enjoy Senior Year! :)

*First Snowfall*

There's something about the first snowfall of the year that is magical. I've always loved pulling on my boots, running out into the cold, and twirling in the first falling flakes. There's something child-like, carefree, exciting about the changing of seasons, and I love it.

Though it takes a while to get used to, and I'm almost never ready for the climate change, I do love every season fully, and the uniqueness of each season. Especially here in Upstate NY, every season has it's beauty, and there's usually nothing "mild" about it. Today I heard the weatherman say we should expect 124'' of snow this year....what? That means if there's still 6 months ahead of snow, we can expect 20.6'' every month?....yikes! I better get used to shooting dressed up like a Eskimo! :)

We can laugh about it now...but check back with me in a few months, and I'll let you know how I feel about snow then. For now, enjoy some snowfall beauty! :)



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Stephanie & Macy: Pet Portraits!

October 28th:

I love when people include pets in their family portraits. Pets are such a big part of our lives as a family, and too often they are left out of pictures. That's why I was excited when I heard Stephanie wanted a session of just her and her dog, Macy. We met at a local park which gave Macy lots of room to run, explore, and because of the recent snow fall- lots of mud puddles to jump in! All things dogs love! We had a fun time together, and now Stephanie has some fun photos of just her and her best friend. :)

Amber: Sneak Peek!

October 28th:

With our first snowfall of the season last night,  temperatures were chilly this morning when I met with Amber to shoot her Senior Portraits. Usually, Senior Portraits are done during the summer, so it was a little different to bundle up, and head out in my boots and winter gear!

Despite the chilly wind, Amber & I met at a local park, and took advantage of the beautiful sunshine that had entered central NY!

Behind the park, is a set of old rail road tracks going over a river, it's a beautiful spot, secluded, and surrounded by woods. I immediately put Amber out on the tracks for a perfect pose, but then realized I would have to cross the bridge as well, with the water rushing below me. OK, maybe it wasn't rushing exactly, but it was high, and I don't like heights much. But to get the shot, I took a deep breath, grabbed Amber's shoulder, and made her walk me across....such a fine moment for me! haha! Thanks for your willingness to brave the cold w/ me, Amber,  & for helping me cross those tracks! :)

Enjoy the sneak peek!

Stacy: Sneak Peek!

October 19th:

I always think my life is busy, until I talk to a High School Senior. Seniors have so much on their plates between school, sports, friendships, work, family, and extracurricular activities, it's hard to get them in one place! But that's one of the things I love most about working with teens: their excited, fast paced, and eager. They're usually up for anything during a session, and the more freedom I give them, the more fun they tend to have.

I got to meet with Stacy yesterday at her family farm, and I'm so glad we chose that location. Stacy was relaxed in her environment, and there's so much to see and do on a farm, we never got bored. Their home sits on a quiet country road, completely surrounded by fields and trees, it was a beautiful day, and we took advantage of the early morning sunshine.

Danielle & Jeff: Engaged!

October 19th:

I love that my job brings me all over the state, and to new places every week. I never get bored. There's something exciting about shooting at an unknown location, with elements that are out of my control. I love walking into a situation, seeing the beauty, and making it work.

This Monday, I got to take a drive up north to Old Forge to photograph an engagement session for Danielle & Jeff. Danielle & I had talked and decided her parents home on First Lake would be an ideal location to meet, with their beach access and woodsy environment, plus, Jeff had proposed on a lakeside beach, so being at the waterfront was perfect for them. Though the skies were overcast, and the wind was cold, the lake was beautiful, and the trees had just enough color left on them to add beautiful pops of yellow and orange.

I loved hearing the story of the orange sign.....Jeff made the amazing "Danielle Will U Marry Me" sign with the intention of placing it out in the middle of a lake on a large rock, where she would see it casually, but once the sign was in place, the wind kept blowing it in the water, and Jeff had to improvise by placing it in a boat...Danielle of course said yes, with tears in her eyes, and friends and family close by to help them celebrate. And to this day, Jeff still gets teased for not using punctuation on the sign! I guess he didn't need a question mark, he knew she'd say yes!


I had a lot of fun with this couple, and give them a lot of credit for looking so carefree and cozy in these pictures! Thanks so much for having me up, guys & for telling me your story! Enjoy the images!

The First Dance

October 8th:

Wedding days are busy, and can sometimes feel rushed or hectic. From the moment the bride and groom wake up that day, they are immediately surrounded by their family, bridal party, and friends. They're on a tight schedule, and nothing can go wrong. This is their big day, they've been planning for months, and in some cases, their whole lives.

The first dance allows a couple one of only a few stolen moments alone on their wedding day. Yes, they are in a crowded room, but really they're alone. You can see it on their face, they're completely caught up in one another. They've picked their favorite song, and you can tell that they've been swept away into it, finding it hard to believe that they're finally here together, finally married.

Happy Friday: Proofing Day!

October 7th:

I love proofing days when I get to dive into wedding images and see all the beautiful moments unfold again and again. There's something very special about that, and I hope too, that when my couples see their wedding day images, they are taken back to their day and are able to relive the joy and celebration. It's so fun to see captured expressions, and moments caught off guard.

I had a wedding show this last Sunday, and my cousin Brittany was there graciously helping me, and I overheard her tell someone: "Michelle captures moments that people sometimes don't even know happened"...and it's true, as a wedding photographer, my job is to fully capture the day, to be in a thousand places at once, and give the whole story. Because just like in journalism, you have nothing without a well-rounded story.

Wedding Expo Featured Image: People's Choice!

September 20th:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote on their favorite 2011 Wedding Image! I appreciate all of the support and feedback!

Thank you too, to my amazing clients for allowing me to be a part of your day & capture these images. I'm glad you all enjoyed them, and am happy to announce, that with the greatest response, Jessie & Adam will be featured in my 2012 Wedding Expo Booth!

Here is the winning image, soon to be seen in Expos all across NY state! :)

Samantha: Sneak Peek!

September 19th:

Today was a beautiful, sunny, crisp fall day here in Upstate NY. This is my favorite time of year, and I especially love being outside and taking portraits when all the maple trees start to turn bright shades of orange and red. I know this is the time of year when nature prepares for the cold winter ahead, and that the leaves are actually dying, but to me, this if the most vibrant time of year, and I love it.

This afternoon, I met Samantha and her Mom, Jill, at a local park for Sam's Senior Session. We had a great time exploring the park, and taking advantage of all the beauty around us. Perfect day, perfect session!

Enjoy the sneak peek!

Cassondra: Sneak Peek!

September 17th:

Meet Cassondra. In the short time I spent with her this afternoon, it soon became evident that she is an all American girl next door. She splits her time between school, studying graphic design, playing soccer, showing her horse, Ice, and being a normal teenager, which tonight, includes going to a country music concert with friends.

Being an "on-location" photographer, I never know where sessions are going to bring me, so I'm usually prepared for anything. Today's session was a lot of fun. We met at Cassondra's house, where I took advantage of her beautiful country setting, and then we finished at the barn down the road where Ice is boarded. I couldn't have asked for more beautiful scenery, or girl to photograph!